Cheap and widely accesible, plywood gained its popularity thanks to a number of renowned early-20th century as well as mid-century modernist designers who favoured what was once described by the American magazine Popular Science as ‘a layer cake of lumber and glue’. Now, to celebrate this versatile material, New York’s MoMA has gathered a number of examples from its collection of modern designs which have been developed in plywood. Titled ‘Plywood: Material, Process, Form’, the installation features a number of instantly-recognisable exhibits such as Alvar Aalto’s iconic Armchair 41 Paimio, pieces from Charles and Ray Eames’ Plywood Group, Sori Yanagi’s beautifully simple Butterfly Stool as well as designs by Eero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen, Tapio Wirkkala, an architectural model for a prefabricated house devised by Marcel Breuer in 1943 and ‘experimental designs for plywood in the aeronautics industry.’
Curated by Juliet Kinchin from MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, the exhibition also features ‘archival photographs [which] illuminate the process of design and manufacture in plywood.’ The show is now in its final weeks so if you happen to be in New York, be sure to visit museum’s Architecture and Design Galleries.
curated by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Aidan O’Connor, Curatorial Assistant
until 27 February 2012
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street New York, NY 10019